Sunday, 29 July 2012

Summer days

Banded damoiselle

A common insect but a beauty, photographed at Fowlmere, females can lay up to ten eggs per minute for three quarters of an hour. The young develop over two years and overwinter buried in mud.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Musk beetle

We found this scarce beetle on a willow leaf at Fowlmere, the female (picture two) is two inches long and the male is smaller. They get their name from their pleasant musk like scent.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Linnets at Fowlmere

These normally shy birds were singing and collecting nesting material right outside the hide, it has taken me years to finally capture them in a photo, worth the wait after all.

Mink at Fowlmere

I have seen mink on my last three visits, the latest one on July 18th I watched a whole family enjoying playing in the stream. It was with mixed emotions as they were amusing but they will create havoc with the native animals and birds.

Saturday, 14 July 2012


This nice male kestrel just happened to fly right past us seemingly unaware of us, such was it's concentration on some unfortunate small mammal it had it's eye on, just one of many birds at Bempton cliffs RSPB reserve.

The Bempton cliffs gannets

Lesley & I spent three days just watching and photographing the magnificent birds, time well spent, we never tire of watching them.
When we first went over 20 years ago there were only a couple of thousand birds but now there are over ten thousand, a real success story, the two above are juvenile birds.

Piano keys

I saw this bird hovering against the wind and saw a set of piano keys playing the wind.

connoisseur nest builder

We watched many birds gathering grass from along the top of the cliffs, but this one was a little more selective than the others

Busy skies

Gannets galore, orchestrating the wind, an extravaganza of elegance

Heads up

Just a few of my favourite portrait pictures of one of my favourite birds, the elegant gannet


Gannets are very tender with their partners, preening each other and doing a very intricate greeting when one returns from a food foray or suchlike but will quickly attack others that invade their space.
The top picture is of two subadults that were pairing up for the future, they matefor life.

Sunday, 8 July 2012


This little hare was so tame we were able to approach to within ten feet and it carried on eating unconcerned by our prescence. I have deliberately not stated the location as they suffer enough from being shot or 'coursed'

Bempton tree sparrows

A common sight in many parts of Yorkshire, a few images of the delightful tree sparrow, busy nest building, having a dust bath and sitting on his singing post

Grey seals

There were large numbers of these either hauled out on the Farne islands rocks or watching us as they swam in to investigate us.

Farne island terns

The top two pictures are of arctic terns, of which there are large numbers nesting on Inner farne, some right next to the walkways. as can be seen from the second picture, they can be very aggressive when any person, animal or bird strays too close to their nest and the culprit is attacked with vigour, a hat is required to prevent being pecked on the head, the gentleman in this picture had been the victim of such an attack but then the bird had changed its annoyance to another tern that was too close to its air space. Pictures three and four are of Sandwich terns ferrying food to their chicks.


As can be seen in picture one, there was no shortage of common guillemots on the Farnes, the fourth picture is of the bridled variety we also saw there.

Thursday, 5 July 2012


I had not seen a razorbill with a mouthfull of fish before so I was very pleased with this picture, the second shot shows the powerfull looking beak on this bird, taking a rest on it's ledge.


Smaller than the cormorant, I think the shag is a much smarter bird, these ones on the Farne islands were, like all the other birds there, amazingly confiding, unconcerned by people walking up to within a few feet. The first picture is of a youngster, almost ready to leave the nest, others were still on eggs surprisingly, unless they had lost earlier broods to the gulls.

Lesser black backed gull

This handsome looking gull is one of the 'pirates' that rob the puffins of their catches and are not averse to taking a chick too, I think this is a LBB chick pictured but, whilst watching it, the parents did not return so I'm unsure


Les and I had a day on the Farne islands and these are the first birds most photographers go to see, charismatic, colourful and very endearing. we watched them tirelessly running the gauntlet of predatory gulls to disappear into their burrows to feed the waiting chicks.